So if our imagination isn’t trained to see these connections [ see the narrative connection of everything, how everything fits into the story], relationships, and the way words work to bring out truth rather than just facts, we are just giving lectures from the pulpit, moralisms in a counseling place
~ Eugene Peterson
Category Archives: Books
There’s a technology that we call the book, and many of us tend to assume that, well, everybody knows how to use books. Books are easy. It’s the modern technologies that students need to be trained to use effectively. And I think, No, not really. A book is actually not that easy to know how to use well, especially for young people who haven’t formed the habit of attending carefully to how they work ~ Alan Jacobs
Full interview here: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/january/pleasures-of-reading.html
Two booklets worth reading.
Glad I picked it up…on impulse.
More from ‘Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies”
On Sharing Stories…
We need story, poetry, play, and song to replenish the wellsprings of imagination, to feed the spirit, to foster compassion. Indeed, I would go so far as to claim that there are certain kinds of understanding that we have no access to except by means of story.
A repertoire of stories binds the people together, reminds them of who they are and of the mysteries that keep them all in relationship to divine powers. Told again and again, their stories offer hope, issue warnings, give direction, guide hearers through dangers, and point toward what can’t be told.
I’m amazed at how many people I encounter seem to have been taught to dismiss their feelings when they read or write or work at solving problems. At risk of reinforcing the damaging stereotype that humanities types are a touchy-feely lot, unlike their brethren in the “hard” sciences, I will admit that I myself practice literary criticism by doing unabashedly what I often must persuade hesitant students to do, which is to put feeling first: to start my analysis of the work in question with where and what it made me feel – anything: outrage, compassion, amusement, confusion, or even boredom.
Some excerpts I like from the book “Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies”
On Reading Well…
Because the nature of literary engagement is not, finally, detached. We will be addressed and changed, if we read well. We will be challenged and confronted and convicted and offended, bothered, unsettled, and sometimes bored – and even boredom has its uses as preparation for a deeper level of engagement – though more often it’s a sign of sloth.
Entering word, story or poetry… “not only as imaginative spaces or settings, but as space-time frameworks where we actually spend a portion of our real lives. And these journeys are consequential – some every bit as consequential as actual travels to real places.
On the art of Conversation…
To ask the next question is to keep the ball in play. One must be willing to expend the energy required to keep listening, to turn the next corner, and to remain open to surprise. Insofar as conversation takes us in unplanned directions, it involves at least some slight risk that we might reveal our ignorance, look foolish, find ourselves emotionally or intellectually or verbally unprepared.
Personally, (minor disagreements aside) I think it gives some of the truths we’ve taken for granted a fresh perspective.
“This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress did for his. It’s that good!” – Eugene Peterson
Interesting to hear what Denzel Washington says about the Bible and about his involvement with the Bible Experience Audio Bible. Watch.